Monday, 16 October 2017

Freebie - Halloween 2017 - Spooky-Cute Downloadable Desktop & Mobile Backgrounds

To celebrate Halloween 2017 I decided to create and share some spooky-cute Halloween themed desktops & phone backgrounds! Download them for free using the links below! Have a Happy Halloween everyone!

Halloween Freebie Orange Desktop
Halloween Freebie Spider Desktop
Halloween Freebie Orange Phone Background
Halloween Freebie Spider Phone Background

Creative Makes - Mini Bunting - Halloween 2017

This was a bit of an impromptu craft project! I literally cannot get enough of mini buntings at the moment - they're just so damn cute. So I decided to make my own halloweeny version!

Heres what you'll need-
Orange & black card
Black & White Twine
Hot glue gun

1. Using scissors cut out the bunting shapes from the coloured card.
2. Cut the twine to the length of bunting you want to create.
3. Plug in the glue gun to heat up.
4. Once the glue gun is up to temperature, glue the flags onto the twine, spacing each one out evenly, alternating between black & orange.
5. Hang up your bunting & enjoy the cute-ness!


Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Creative Makes - Spooky Chocolate Apples - Halloween 2017

While picking out a pumpkin for Halloween this year I spotted some chocolate covered apples covered in sprinkles. I used to love them as a kid, so I decided to make my own with some cool spooky decorations instead! These were super cheap and easy to make, the recipe's below - give it a try!



Dark or white chocolate
Writing icing
Lollipop sticks


1. Prepare the apples. Remove the stems from the top of the apples then skewer them with the lollypop sticks. Poke them to about half way through the apple.
2. Warm about half a saucepan of water to a low simmer. Place a large glass bowl over the pan, creating a 'bain marie'.
3. Melt your chocolate in the glass bowl, stirring until it has completely melted and has no lumps. Remove the bowl from the heat.
4. Dip the apples into the melted chocolate, or spoon the chocolate onto them, covering them completely. Stand them up on a lined tray.
5. Cool the apples in the fridge until the chocolate coating is solid.
6. Use writing icing to draw the designs on the apples. Experiment with different spooky designs!
7. Wait for the icing to harden a little before eating! Enjoy!


Monday, 2 October 2017

Creative Life - Free Creative Places To Visit In London

With an ‘eye-contact-avoiding’, ‘public-transport-hating’, and ‘overpriced-everything’ culture all of its own, London is weirdly but undoubtedly still one of my favourite places in the UK. I am lucky enough to have lived a half an hour train journey away from the City for the last 3 years, and have enjoyed countless days out exploring the cities unique and most inspiring creative places. Here are my absolute favourites, all of which are free to visit! Yay to feeling creative for free!

Camden Market
A huge North London market consisting of over 1000 unique shops, stalls, bars and cafes.

Perfect for-
- Feeling inspired by the vibrant and lively atmosphere created by the crowds of Tourists and Locals alike.
- Trying new foods & drinks from the hundreds of street food stalls selling delicious & inventive food from all over the world. Yes to Japanese-style sweet potato fries and crispy onion loaded mac & cheese! *Drools*
- People-watching/people-drawing. Sit by the Canal with a sketchbook and watch the world go by. There are also some great pubs on the canal with views of the food market! A pint & some pencils please!
- Supporting small creative businesses selling art prints, unique gifts, vintage up-cycles and everything in between!

Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall
The impressive hall at the centre of the Tate Modern - A contemporary Art Gallery on London's Southbank.

Perfect for-
- Soaking up the calming atmosphere of the huge hall space.
- People-watching/people-drawing. Sit on the side steps near the entrance for the best view of the hall and the people too.
-Admiring the architecture & the installations. The huge Turbine Hall is a constantly changing space, hosting Artists’ installations on a bigger scale than you have ever seen before!
-Finding inspiration in the books section of the gift shop. This is one of my favourite things to do at the Tate Modern! They stock a huge range of books relating to anything & everything creative!

Gods Own Junkyard
A crazy collection of neon and vintage signs based in Walthamstow.
Perfect for-
-Creative photography. Whether it’s a cool instagram selfie, or glowy-arty shot of the treasure trove of Neon Signs, this place is sure to inspire.
-Amazing colour and lettering inspiration. This place literally is heaven on earth for anyone who is into retro lettering. Take a sketchbook and draw what you see, or take photos of your favourite signs to use as reference & inspiration later.

Regents Park
A beautiful park in North London with large open spaces, display gardens and play areas. It also houses London Zoo and an Open Air Theatre.

Perfect for-
- Calm & Tranquility. Switch your phone to silent and take in the peaceful surroundings, you literally forget that you are actually in a bustling city!
-People-watching/people-drawing. Once you are relaxed, take out your sketchbook and pens and doodle!
- Picnics! It’s definitely worth spending the day here if you can. Bring snacks and a picnic blanket and explore the different areas of the park.

London Graphic Centre, Covent Garden
The most epic art supplies shop!

Perfect for-
- Stocking up on your favourite art supplies. I find that I have to go towards the end of my day out because otherwise I will be carrying around my weight in supplies for the rest of the day. The phrase ‘Treat Yo Self’ has never been more apt than for a visit here.
- Getting inspired & finding new supplies for projects. Here I have discovered new materials/equipment/supplies Every. Single. Visit.
- Getting advice about materials. Massively friendly and informative staff will help you if you have any questions, no matter how specific it seems, these people know their stuff!

It’s worth mentioning that these are just a few of the most wonderful, inspiring, creative places in London, and are my opinion only. I would love to explore new and different places in the future and would love to know where your favourites are too! Please leave yours in the comments below!

Creative Makes - Yum Iced Biscuits

So this weekend I decided to give myself a 'Great British Bake-Off' Style challenge! I came up with these iced biscuits after seeing some cool halloween iced biscuits on Pinterest. I thought I would be cool if they looked like some of my hand-lettering designs, so I came up with the 3D effect. Not gonna lie, these were pretty tricky to make, but I love the way they look, and they really were very yummy! Give them a go using the recipe at the bottom of this post.

Before I started the bake I made these letters out of card to use as templates for the biscuits!


The biscuits-
250g plain flour
115g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
85g ground almonds
1 egg yolk (room temp)
¼ tsp baking powder
½ orange finely zested
1 tbsp orange juice
pinch of salt

The icing-
500g icing sugar
food colouring (pink, blue, yellow, black)


The biscuits-

1. Pre-heat the oven to gas 4, 180c, fan 160c

2. Beat the butter, sugar and orange zest in a large bowl. Beat in the egg yolk and the almonds. Sift in the flour, baking powder & salt. Add the orange juice, then work the ingredients together, first with a spoon, then with your hands, to make a firm dough.

3. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for around 15 mins until firm enough to roll out.

4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured worktop until the thickness of a pound coin. Use cutters to stamp out, or templates to cut out your shapes. Arrange them, slightly apart, on lined baking trays.

5. Bake the biscuits for 10-12 mins, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

The icing-

Use one small (cereal) bowl and one teaspoon per icing colour.

1. First, make the black ‘outline icing’. Half fill your bowl with icing sugar and add one teaspoon of water, mix thoroughly. Add more water, a teaspoon at a time, until you reach a thick consistency that will be easy to pipe. Once you have reached the correct consistency, add the food colouring, mix thoroughly until you have a solid colour with no streaks.

2. Fill your icing bag with the black icing and snip a very small end off the bag, test the piping out on a plate before you start piping on your biscuits. Once you are happy with the icing consistency and the piping size, pipe the outline design onto the biscuits.

3. Leave the outline icing to set until 100% dry and firm.

4. For each of the other colours, repeat step one using the other colourings, but this time make the consistency slightly runnier by adding more water. You will still need to be able to pipe the colours, however it doesn’t need to be as thick as the black outline.

5. Carefully pipe the coloured icings within the lines of the black icing, letting the icing fill and spread out the space in between the outlines. Do one colour at a time, until all of your biscuits are iced completely.

6. Resist temptation and let your iced biscuits dry until the icing has hardened.

7. Enjoy your beautiful yummy iced biscuits!


Hello, I'm A Parrot Or A Hippie.

As this is my first blog post I think it’s only fit to give you an explanation of my blog name ‘Parrot Or A Hippie’, so here goes-

There I was, me and about 12 other 6-year-old kids sat cross-legged in a circle on the scratchy green carpet of my classroom floor. My teacher asks us to take it in turns to say what we want to be when we grow up. *GULP* Understatement of the year- this made me nervous. I had never wanted to be a nurse, or a teacher, or a vet. So when my turn arrived I panicked and said the first thing that popped into my head. “A Parrot”. This, understandably, made my whole class giggle and my teacher smirk. Red-faced and realising what the heck I had said, I quickly changed my mind to the next logical thing for me. “Or A Hippie”. This was met again, by some funny looks and giggles. The teacher swiftly moved onto the next future nurse. The everlasting embarrassment of this memory is now met by a new feeling of pride for my younger self.

I was born into a creative family, my mum is a Genius Painter, my dad is a Kick-Ass Graphic Designer & Photographer, and my older sister is an Incredible Embroiderer. I am extremely lucky to have always been supported in anything I ever wanted to do by my family. Hence, “Parrot Or A Hippie”. Looking back on it, it makes sense. This was the first indication that I was doomed to live a creative life.

Parrots were my favourite animals at that time; their rainbow feathers still make my heart skip a beat. And as for the Hippie thing, well quite simply, I loved the colourful tie-dye tops and flares. And after my mum explained what those cool peace symbols meant, the idea was really set in my mind- I’m going to be a Hippie. This lead to my mum calling me a hippie chick and buying me some denim flares with patches on the knees. Nice.

Unfortunately I have not become an actual Parrot or a Hippie, however as a freelance illustrator I have kept my endless love for colour and creativity. The wings would have been useful, and the flares would have looked great, but hey, close enough. Proudly and persistently follow your dreams.
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